Lady Gaga, Yoko Ono, Morgan, Goldman Boost Japan Aid Funds
Individual and corporate aid efforts for Japan have mounted quickly this week in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the nation.
“I designed a Japan prayer bracelet,” Lady Gaga posted on her Twitter feed earlier this week. “Buy It/Donate here and ALL proceeds will go to Tsunami Relief Efforts.”
Orders for the $5 bracelet with “We Pray for Japan” in English and Japanese raised more than $250,000 in 48 hours.
The American Red Cross has received about $47 million in donations. More than $2.6 million of that came from $10 gifts the public texted to the organization by phone, Attie Poirier, a Red Cross spokeswoman in Washington, said in a phone interview.
Morgan Stanley (MS) Japan gave $1.2 million to relief efforts, Sandra Hernandez, a New York-based Morgan Stanley spokeswoman, said by phone. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) announced that it will give 500 million yen ($6.3 million).
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) pledged $5 million and will match as much as $1 million in contributions made by the company’s 220,000 employees to the American Red Cross and World Vision, a charity based in Washington state that finds sponsors for impoverished children.
Jefferies Group Inc. (JEF), a global securities firm and investment bank, said it has donated $1 million to the relief effort and will also give all net equity trading revenue generated this week by its Asia-based offices. On Wednesday, the company donated all equity trading revenue from its U.S. and European offices.
Lady Gaga used her website to advertise the fundraising effort of Eric Schmidt, Google Inc. (GOOG)’s chief executive officer, and his wife, Wendy. They pledged last Saturday to match the first $100,000 the public donated to Citizen Effect, a Washington-based nonprofit that links philanthropists with projects.
‘Lady Gaga Effect’
Before Lady Gaga nudged Twitter visitors to give Schmidt a hand, the Google executive had raised $3,000 in 24 hours. After the singer raised the flag Sunday, donations rose sharply. To date, Schmidt’s match pledge has drawn more than $70,000.
“The money is coming in pretty steadily now,” Dan Morrison, Citizen Effect’s founder and chief executive officer, said by phone. “There was definitely a Lady Gaga effect.”
Japan Society, a New York nonprofit that promotes cultural exchange, has received more than $835,000 in unsolicited donations from the public. It set up a Japan Earthquake Relief Fund and will give it 50 percent of income generated by events held from March 14 to June 30 at the center, spokesman Shannon Jowett said.
“We have had a history of raising funds for various disasters going back to the 1923 earthquake in Japan,” Jowett said by phone about the 103-year-old organization. “What we saw was an overwhelming desire of people to help and not knowing where to go. So we just established the fund for people wanting to give money.”
Ono, her son, Sean Lennon, singer-songwriter Mike Patton and the rock band Sonic Youth will be among the acts performing at a New York benefit organized by avant garde saxophonist John Zorn at Columbia University’s Miller Theater on March 27.
Zorn, a composer and recipient of a “genius” grant from the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, said the response from performers was “overwhelming,” so he set up two more shows at Manhattan’s Abrons Art Center on April 8 and two at the Japan Society on April 9. He’s currently in talks to put together another benefit at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn.
“There was no hesitation in anyone’s voice when I called them, not even a scintilla,” Zorn said by phone. “They said, ‘Sign me up, I’m down with it.’”
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org.